Premise: The Seven (and some of their friends) live and work in various capacities in the Mammoth Hot Springs area of Yellowstone National Park.
The Setting: Yellowstone was the United States' first national park and has a diverse and rich variety of wildlife, habitats and ecosystems. It has been called "the Serengeti of the United States" because of the variety and visibility of wildlife. It also has the majority of the world's geysers, along with other geothermal features including hot springs, mudpots, fumaroles and so on. The park covers 3,472 square miles or 8,987 square km and is home to a staggering variety of animals, including several endangered and threatened species. In 2006, more than 2,800,000 people visited the park, the majority between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend.
The official National Park Service site on Yellowstone (a mine of information, photographs, maps, videos, photo tours, etc.) is here.
The park's headquarters is located in the Mammoth Hot Springs area and the road across the north of the park from Gardiner, MT to Cooke City, MD is the only road that is kept plowed and passable to automobile traffic year round. Mammoth Hot Springs visitor services, such as the Grill, the Dining Room and the Hotel are also open year round. Information on the Mammoth Hot Springs area, including maps, interactive tours, what you can see on the road from Mammoth to Norris and Tower/Roosevelt (the next major junctions on the park's Grand Loop Road), and so on, is here.
Annotated aerial photograph of the buildings around Mammoth Hot Springs.
Click for a full size version.
The Seven: The Seven work out of the Ranger Station (in the Albright Visitor Center) in the Mammoth Hot Springs area. A little bit of information on the kinds of duties Park Rangers perform can be found here and here.
Chris Larabee: US Park Ranger. Primary duties:
management of the Ranger Station, formerly Law Enforcement. Chris has just
gotten promoted from a field position to head of this station and finds his
new managerial duties somewhat restrictive. He finds opportunities to go
out into the field more often than others in his position do.
Vin Tanner: US Park Ranger. Primary duties:
backcountry. Vin monitors use of the backcountry campsites (hikers are required
to use the designated backcountry campsites and use of the Yellowstone
backcountry is regulated), watches for illegal activities in the more remote
areas of the northwest corner of the park, helps with search and rescue as
needed, assists in wildlife and ecosystem research. He travels by foot and
on horseback, depending on where he's going and may be away from the Ranger
Station for a week or more at a time. He spends a few days or a week back
at the Ranger Station completing paperwork and helping visitors, before going
out to the backwoods again. In the winter, he does less backcountry work,
and more wildlife research, travelling on snowshoes and skis, gathering
information for various research projects.
Buck Wilmington: US Park Ranger. Primary duties:
Law enforcement and visitor contact. Buck is fully capable and trained in
law enforcement and can handle himself and others in a crisis. However, he
likes best walking the trails around Mammoth Hot Springs assisting visitors,
answering questions, and making sure that park rules and policies are being
followed. He also spends some time working at the North Entrance gate, checking
passes and collecting fees, and telephone numbers.
Nathan Jackson: US Park Ranger. Primary duties:
Visitor contact, with special training in emergency medicine. Nathan is a
Ranger, not one of the doctors and EMTs working at the clinic, though he
is often first on the scene when there's a medical emergency. He is especially
good with historical programs, and leads tours of Fort Yellowstone several
times a day.
Ezra Standish: Yellowstone Park Foundation
Fundraiser. Ezra is not an employee of the National Park Service, he is an
employee of an associated non-profit the Yellowstone Park Foundation (more
information about this organization is
here. He organizes fundraising events of
all types ranging from $1000-a plate dinners to nature walks. Anything he
can think of that someone will pay to participate in. He also organizes events
around the country where Rangers speak to the public about the wonders of
Yellowstone. He is a liaison between the Yellowstone Park Foundation and
the management of the park, and is friends with the regular denizens of the
Mammoth Hot Springs Ranger Station. He has frequently tapped Chris, Buck,
Nathan and Josiah to speak at fundraisers and has been trying to get Vin
to share some of his experiences with no success.
Josiah Sanchez: Park Volunteer. Josiah volunteers
at the park, probably putting in more than full time hours in doing so. He
is an expert in the wildlife in the park, and leads a variety of wildlife
nature walks for all ages. He can talk for hours about the animals in the
park, everything from the most recent scientific papers to Indian legends
from a variety of tribes. He works at the Visitor's Center, on the trails,
leading nature walks, giving talks on the wildlife, whatever needs to be
done. He takes a special interest in maintaining the chapel at Mammoth and
can often be seen working there, pulling weeds, painting or doing odd jobs.
JD Dunne: Park Intern/Park Ranger. Primary Duties:
As an intern, JD gets dumped with grunt jobs, picking up trash, collecting
fees at the North Gate, repairing damaged trails and roads. As a genius with
computers and radios, he gets less of that than the other interns and spends
more time working with the computer systems, maintaining the network, updating
software, etc. The park's computers are new, and the park stays online via
the National Park Service's internet gateway which sometimes works at lightning
speed, and sometimes doesn't work at all. He also helps to maintain and massage
the radio system and spends some of his time just manning the radios and
monitoring radio traffic.
Orin Travis: Is the Park Superintendent of Yellowstone National Park. The Park Headquarters is next door to the Mammoth Ranger Station, so he has more contact and more knowledge of the men and women who work in that station.
This AU was created by Farad, Sassyinkpen, and Sara and is open for anyone to contribute to. If you feel inspired to write about the boys in this universe, please consider yourself invited to do so.
Disclaimer and Note: Please note that while we have attempted to be as accurate as possible in placing our AU in the real Yellowstone National Park, there are places where reality has been sacrificed to make the AU more satisfying. These places are rare, and we hope that they do not glare. Just know that we are aware they exist.
Also, we mean no disrespect or disparagement to Yellowstone National Park, the National Park Service, the Yellowstone Park Foundation or any other body mentioned in these stories.